From the Pastor
 

Sunday Morning Service

9:00am


Sunday School

10:15am

 

Nursery is provided for younger children during Sunday Morning Service.


Handicapped Parking available.

Monday Morning Messege

September 26, 2021

Our scripture from Mark 10:13-16 includes the story of the disciples trying
to prevent parents from bringing their children to see Jesus. When Jesus
finds out what they are doing, he replies: “Let the children come to me.
Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like
these children.  15  I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the
Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” What does it mean for us to
be like those children and receive God’s reign as they would?
The children were not a priority in Jesus’ culture. They were often
considered to be a burden and a bother. Jesus turns this upside down by
accepting the children and blessing them! Clearly, being important to
people is not important to God! God does not require of us our best
behavior or for us to be ‘perfect’. Hallelujah! We are loved and accepted by
God despite our faults, short comings, or status with others!
Since children matter to God, they should also matter to us. Each year, our
United Methodist Women seek to help us with a Children’s Sabbath
observance. While this is typically done in October, this scripture shouts to
us that we need to pay attention to the children in our communities and
around the world all around the year.

Challenge Questions:
1. What do you know about the needs of children in our community?
2. Where does your life intersect with children? Neighbors,
nieces/nephews, church, friends with parents or grandparents
3. How might God be calling you to express compassion toward
children’s needs?
4. What does it mean for you to accept God and God’s reign as a child?

Mark 9:33-37
Last week, we focused on Jesus’ teaching that it’s what is on the inside –
our hearts and souls – that matters. Tending first to our external selves
and how we are on the outside does not enable us to live healthy and
happy lives. We need to live from the inside out. This week, Jesus turns
our thinking upside down as he instructs the disciples that in order to be
greatest, they must be the least; in order to be leader, they must be servant
of all. Putting it all together, we are reminded to live life from the inside out
and upside down or, as the children’s book is titled, Inside, Outside, Upside
Down.
As we study the passage, we learn that Jesus does not criticize them for
wanting to be great. Our internal sense of ambition has been given to us
by God and can enable us to accomplish great things! In our ambition, we
simply need to be sure that we do not abuse other people in achieving our
ambitions, and as long as we balance that ambition with our love for God
and neighbor. Likewise, our ambition should be directed not toward worldly
success or status or titles, but toward serving others.
Jesus also left a legacy of service for his followers. He did this by wrapping
a towel around his waist on the night when he was betrayed and washing
their feet. He taught them to serve by his own example. We are to do
likewise. All of this goes back to living life from the inside out, for this is at
the heart of service. We should even be ambitious in serving, serving God
thru serving others. Jesus tells us to live life with the inside showing
through on the outside and turning the world’s ways of being first upside
down; to be greatest, we must be least and servant of all. Inside, Outside,
Upside Down.
Challenge Questions
1. Who do you admire most and why? Who do you see as the “least”?
2. In what ways do you want to be “the greatest”?
3. What would it look like to serve the lowliest or least?
4. How does serving others impact your soul? Can this upside down living
effect you from the inside out?
This week’s service continued the theme of the Tie that Binds. Paul’s
words to us in Galatians 5:16-26 are wise words for us as we seek to live in
God’s Spirit and in relationship with one another. As we considered
“Moving with the Tie of Relationship”, Paul warns us of several destructive
behaviors while reminding us that life in the Spirit should produce love, joy,
peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness and self-
control. We are to build the Kingdom of God on earth by living by the Spirit
which enables us to produce these nine fruits and more. We must decide:
who are we? And who do we want to be?
 People who are self-centered, angry, fleshly, carnal, unloving,
uncaring and unattractive?
 Or are we people of grace and mercy, love and kindness, patience
and tolerance – long-suffering with others?
Challenge Questions:
1. How might you deepen your experience of the Kingdom of God or the
fruit of the Spirit in your own life, despite the pressures of the world?
2. How might you pass on the fruit of the Spirit to others?
3. How might you share the Tie that Binds with someone else?
May 30, 2021
Dear Friends,
Our primary scripture is from John 3:1-17 where we see Nicodemus going
out after dark to find Jesus and talk with him about his teachings. Skeptical
but not as hateful as his fellow Pharisees, Nicodemus seems to be really
trying to grasp Jesus’ teachings. We find Nicodemus appearing again after
the crucifixion as the one who secures Jesus’ body from Pilate and
compassionately lays it to rest in a tomb. In the midst of this, Jesus
endeavors to explain to Nicodemus that new life is possible through the
grace of God and power of the Holy Spirit.
We, too, are given the possibility of a ‘second life’ – or a third, or fourth, or
fifth.. Through Christ, every breath is a second chance! As we re-enter life
as a post-pandemic period, we need to re-evaluate who we are and who
God calls us to be. Are you who you want to be? • We cannot change the
past, but the HS can enable us to reshape our future in unimaginable ways.
What do you want your second life to be like?
See you in church,
Pastor Jo
Easter Sunday 2021
It was wonderful to be together in the House of the Lord! See you again Sunday!
Do you enjoy dancing?  Honestly, I have never been a person that would say I ‘enjoy’ dancing.  When I was involved in prison ministry, however, there were moments that participating in dancing had a huge impact.  Epiphany Ministries began going into adult prisons, such as The Ohio Reformatory for Women, around 1997, to minister to juvenile offenders.  Our participants ranged in age from 15-21.  Many of these were girls who experienced little to no childhood. A key piece of the encounter was helping them to feel freedom in Christ – which is particularly difficult or at least contradictory in a maximum-security prison.  For many, a key connection was through dance, such as the Electric Slide, Macarena, and even silly songs like “Tony Chestnut”.  Christ died so that we might know ultimate freedom.
Nothing could hold Jesus in the grave: not imprisonment, not a tomb, not death, not the sins of the world!  Jesus’ death and resurrection means that we are also free and can overcome anything, even death.  We can experience freedom from our sins, and from anything else that binds us – addiction, bad habits, worry, guilt, anger, etc.  Through this freedom, we are able to act for justice, love people (even those not loved easily by others), we are free to be loved and to feel worthy of love and to be in a right relationship with God.  We are even free to dance!
Challenges:
o What does it feel like to be free enough to dance?
o Where in your life do you not feel free? Where do you feel held down or imprisoned?
o What is it like to let Jesus remove those barriers or weights that are keeping you from being free?
o Who might you encourage through urging them that they are meant to be free in Christ?V